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Report: Japan’s Uniqlo to Exit Russia, Paving the Way for Sale of Business

The interior of a Uniqlo store at Salaris shopping mall in Moscow.
The interior of a Uniqlo store at Salaris shopping mall in Moscow. (Shutterstock)

Japanese brand Uniqlo has decided to leave Russia after suspending its operation there last year, opening the path for a sale of the business, the daily Izvestia cited Russia’s deputy trade minister as saying.

Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing suspended the clothing brand’s operations in Russia in March of 2022, joining scores of international companies, after Moscow launched its attack on Ukraine, calling it a “special military operation.”

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Yevtukhov said the company has decided to completely leave Russia but is yet to submit an application to the government, which means the chain has no buyer yet, Izvestia reported on Tuesday.

“I think they can offer potential buyers their business model,” Izvestia cited Yevtukhov as saying. “The Japanese retailer will be able to offer... lease agreements, popular points of sale with the good buyers traffic and equipment.”

Fast Retailing did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Tadashi Yanai, the founder of Fast Retailing, had told Japanese media earlier that Uniqlo was operating 50 stores in Russia.

By Lidia Kelly and Rocky Swift; Editor: Muralikumar Anantharaman

Learn more:

Uniqlo Reverses Course to Suspend Operations in Russia

The decision comes as the company faced public pressure to halt operations in the country, as a wave of retailers, including fast fashion rivals H&M and Zara, shut up shop.

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